Ornamental Kale & the Benefits of Perennial Foliage Plants in the Garden


oranmental kale 2

We just couldn’t stay away.  They say that the completely un-February like weather we’ve been having lately will disappear for a few days of rain and snow and below 50 degree weather.  But even with that forecast on the horizon we couldn’t help ourselves, we had to go to the garden center to get some ideas and soak ourselves in the fragrance of the greenhouse.  I can never get over that smell of fresh potting soil and sweet blossoms.  There are few things more thereputic than the sound of running water and the smell inside a greenhouse.

While we were perusing their selection of early spring bedding plants we came across the ornamental kale, in which my daughter was immensely interested.

ornamental kale


As she plucked a few leaves off and immediately tried to shove them in her mouth I explained that this was ornamental kale, and that we weren’t going to eat this stuff today.  Although it’s technically edible, it’s not as tasty as the stuff we buy in the grocery store.  She looked at me a little confused {as did the few folks around me as I explained kale to a 9 month old}, and we went along softly touching the ruffled texture of their leaves without popping them in our mouths.


ornamental kale 3


ornamental kale 4

It’s no secret the flowering plants are show stoppers in the garden.  Big and colorful blooms can be eye-catching,  sweet smelling additions to a garden, but I often prefer the understated beauty of foliage plants.  Although they aren’t as flashy as blooming plants, they can provide texture and unity to planting beds.  I like to think of them as the backup singers without whose shoo bop bops the song of my landscape wouldn’t be complete.

The supporting foliage of ornamental kale will dwindle once the weather heats up around late May, but here’s a few perennial foliage plants that can provide a beautiful backdrop for both perennial and annual blossoms.

perennial foliage plants

in my garden- Getting Rid of Grape Hyacinth Bulbs

Getting Rid of Grape Hyacinth Weeds One of the surest signs of spring is the emergence of bulbs.  From tulips to daffodils and hyacinths, once I see those spear-shaped leaves poking through my soil I breathe a sigh of relief knowing winter is on it’s way out.  Usually.


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My Favorite Gardening Magazine: The English Garden

My Favorite Garden Magazine

Every eight weeks or so I receive springtime in my mailbox.  It comes in the form of my favorite gardening magazine, The English Garden.  I say springtime because finding it in the mailbox gives me the same feeling as seeing the first leaves on a lilac bush, or the tips of tulips pushing through the soil. As I turn the pages and look through the index I’m reminded of why I’m a gardener and I fall in love with landscaping all over again.


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Signs of Spring- My Divided Salvia

salvia division

In the late fall I decided to undertake a division of my salvia.  The previous owners had planted six in front of the house.  Three in a very straight line under one window, the other three were a mirror image, planted just as neatly below the opposite window.  I’m not a symmetrical type of girl. Although I think grouping material is a great way to achieve a harmonious look, I try to avoid straight lines whenever possible.  So those babies were divvied up and carefully distributed throughout my garden.


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